Friday, June 03, 2011

Chart of the Day

From the May 28th Economist:

As the magazine says:
Backhanders are so common in Nigeria that they feature in the country’s unofficial anthem, "International Thief Thief". Its author, Fela Kuti, the late father of the Afrobeat genre, sang in 1980, To become of high position here / Him go bribe some thousand naira bread / To become one useless chief. When a Broadway musical based on Kuti’s life premiered in Lagos recently, fans shouted out the names of today’s leaders over the first few bars. Little has changed since the song was written. When The Economist requested an interview with the president, we were asked whether we would contribute to his election campaign--or whether the president should pay us.

Politicians in all parts of the world want bungs. But Nigerian leaders are so greedy that they have subverted the entire machinery of state to serve their needs. Every policy is a scam, every regulation a source of rent.

Freed from kleptocrats, Nigeria could be an African giant. It has the people, resources and entrepreneurial metabolism to make it one of the world’s 20 leading economies, reckons PwC, a consultancy. Today it ranks 132nd by GDP per head. More than two-thirds of its people live on under $2 a day. Despite its many resources, the amount of electricity that is delivered to each Nigerian is a thirtieth of the level in South Africa.

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